People get nervous when times are uncertain. That’s why it is so important for leaders to communicate more than normal—not less. Even if you don’t have all the answers, it’s important to share what you do know. In the absence of information, people will start thinking the worst. Leaders can head that off with honest and frequent communication on what is happening.
I was reminded how comforting a message from your leader can be after listening to a 10-minute internal podcast from our VP of Marketing.
It was the third in a series of recordings with senior leaders in our company that are being captured and distributed on our SharePoint site. Approximately once a month we hear from a different leader sharing their take on the business outlook and what our current strategies are. It’s a great tool that many other organizations may want to adopt.
What it did for me was define a direction. By listening to the plans our Marketing VP outlined I was able to see the direction we were moving in and I could reevaluate how my own personal work goals aligned with the organizational goals. It was a simple, but powerful way of keeping me—and everyone else in the company informed about how things were going and most importantly, what our plans were for moving forward.
One of the challenges that organizations are facing these days is how to create alignment between departments and teams so that everyone is working from the same sheet of music. Communicating more frequently is a great place to start.
Did you eat at Denny’s yesterday? I tried to, together with three of my coworkers, but the lines were too long. For those of you who might have missed the ads during the Super Bowl and also the full page ad in USA Today, Denny’s was offering a free Grand Slam breakfast to everyone who stopped by any Denny’s location between 6:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. yesterday. Over two million people did exactly that.
I can’t say that any of us were surprised when we saw the full parking lot and the line out the door when we drove by our local Denny’s at eleven-thirty thinking we would beat the lunchtime crowd. We ended up eating at another restaurant down the street—which was also packed. (A scene that was probably played out near many Denny’s restaurants yesterday—a thank you note for the spike in business is probably in order.)
Even though I didn’t get a chance to enjoy a free breakfast at Denny’s I still want to compliment the senior leadership at Denny’s for taking a proactive stance in a tough economy. It’s great to see an organization moving forward, building enthusiasm for their brand, instead of sitting back hoping that people will still come in as usual. It’s something we can all probably learn from. Think about what they accomplished yesterday.
- A great goodwill gesture that generated a lot of buzz and press coverage.
- Getting folks reacquainted with the store—many people stopped by for the first time in years.
- A chance to sample the product—“This Grand Slam breakfast is good, and it’s normally $5.99 for two eggs, two pancakes, and two strips of bacon or sausage, that’s still a good deal.”
What can you be doing to shake things up in your organization? (You can be sure that I’m thinking about it.) And you can bet that I am still hungry for that breakfast now that Denny’s has planted it in my mind.